Engel - Threnody
Season Of Mist
Melodeath/Industrial Metal
11 songs (44:55)
Release year: 2010
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Jaime
Oh hai In Flames! Waitwhut? Engel? My bad. Suffice to say, Engel are taking more than a few cues from Reroute to Remain era In Flames to the point that some of the songs are basically interchangeable between the albums. There are two differences that I could pick up on, one being that vocalist Magnus "Mangan" Klavborn is way better than Anders and the other being that Threnody is a little more synth heavy. Take the opener Six Feet Deep for example. It's got all the similar hooks and lines that dragged Swedish melodeath to the fore all those years ago and would've fit into Soilwork's Figure Number Five easily. The synths carry all the lead lines, with the vocals being fairly easy to make out and understand. It's quite poppy in that sense. Sense The Fire starts with a little acoustic part before heading into a synth bass driven verse and the kinda standard chorus from the early 2000's. It works, oddly enough, and having the song using clean vocals all the way through helps keep things a little more interesting but that whole pop song feeling is clearly not going to be shaken off with a track like this. Third track For Those Who Will Resist sounds extremely similar to a number of songs I've heard before which isn't a good sign. Melodeath bands have a hard time as it is standing out and there's not a lot here that you couldn't place in a number of bands before. Which conveniently leads me to Feed The Weak which has more in common with an 80's pop song than anything else but by God it's fucking cool. The band must have decided to forego the constraints on their industrial side when they wrote this. Despite it sounding a little odd at first everything here just seems to work with it's pretty anthemic chorus and the little solo section which as a whole is fantastic.

Unfortunately things take a bit of a nosedive with To The End, which is a pretty emo-y ballad type of track. If the lyrics and vocals were different then it'd be a pretty nice song to listen to as the music itself is pretty good, but sadly it's all "woe is me I'm stuck in the dark recesses of my bedroom" thanks to the weepy vocals. Every Sin (Leaves a Mark) tries to amp up the energy again but doesn't really get there and is pretty forgetable. Down is a little different again, as it has this kind of bluesy, sludgy feel throughout the track (chorus excluded, obviously). The groove is a nice change of pace compared to the songs before it, but sadly there are a few little lead guitar parts that you have to strain yourself to hear in there that mix things up a little more too. The nod to a certain band in the song title didn't go unnoticed either. Heartsick has a few interesting things going on and the industrial side of things weighs heavily on the track. The verse parts that are vocals, guitar and a very quiet drum machine add a little depth and atmosphere to the the proceedings. Generally speaking the tracks where they do engage their synths more are the tracks that stand out, even if there's nothing to special going on in them. The title track raids some tasteless 80's American bands and Arch Enemy for the most part. The riffs and solos are ripped straight from them, and there's a breakdown in here that just sounds bad. The chorus is pretty good though, mainly as it doesn't sound like Arch Enemy. Burn is another track that opens with acoustic guitars, but it's synth heavy when the track kicks in, and as I've mentioned before, when that happens the song tends to be on of the bands better tracks and this is no exception. That intro riff reappears in the song which is an awesome thing as it was damned cool. Big anthemic choruses, those strangely magical synth led verses and the little interlude sections that are just wonderful. The last track is also the longest and starts with a very prog feel about it. It may be the mellotrons. Perfect Isis is a fairly slow track, with the verses veering into gothic/doom territory like early Charon or Sentenced with the lower clean vocals. Even the chorus, despite it having the same elements of the other tracks, just seems to have gained something with that dip in tempo and sombre mood. The song sounds completely different to the rest of the tracks and almost doesn't belong here. But it's undoubtedly the best of the eleven here.

All in all Threnody is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some generic melodeath tracks that you've heard a million times before, some genre blending melodeath/industrial tracks that I wish there were more of and a gothic/doom track that's the best of the bunch and makes you wish they'd go down that route. I have a soft spot for Reroute To Remain so anything that sounds like it may have been borrowed from it doesn't cause me too much alarm but if you don't like your melodeath being synth heavy then avoid this. The guitar leads are a bit buried at times which doesn't help these matters either. Otherwise, give it a go. There are enough tracks here that make the album worth listening to.
Killing Songs :
Six Feet Deep, Sense The Fire, Feed The Week, Heartsick, Burn, Perfect Isis
Jaime quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Engel that we have reviewed:
Engel - Absolute Design reviewed by Alex and quoted 65 / 100
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